Reported Gunshot Sparks Panic in Times Square

NEW YORK -
A pedestrian makes his way across 46th Street on March 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Police were called to Times Square on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. after reports on gunshots caused people to flee the area, NBC 4 reported.

Police confirmed there were no guns fired in the vicinity, and said an altercation between two men caused a planter and police barrier to overturn and created a loud noise, which may have caused the confusion. Security footage of the area showed the bustling crowd, as one, run from the area.

At least one person was arrested for possession of drugs; his connection to the incident was not made clear.

“Initial investigation has showed no shots were fired,” the NYPD’s Manhattan South Precinct said in a tweet later Sunday. “A dispute between two individuals resulted in overturning of a planter and a police barricade. One individual has been arrested. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic has resumed.”

Shootings in Times Square earlier in the year have made the popular tourist area a sign of the city’s struggle to crack down on crime as it risks deterring the tourist and travel-driven plans for the economic recovery. In June, a visiting Marine was shot in the back by a stray bullet fired by a 16-year-old, according to Fox 5. In May, Farrakhan Muhammad, in an altercation with another man, fired into crowds, hitting and injuring three tourists, including a 4-year-old girl. Muhammad fled to Florida, was arrested by local police, and brought back to New York to face charges.

Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to increase police patrols in the district after the June shooting. Democrat nominee for mayor Eric Adams held a press conference in Times Square, vowing to combat crime and illegal gun smuggling aggressively when he would become mayor.